Descent of the Holy Spirit on the Apostles
Tropar Of Pentecost, Tone 8:
Blessed art Thou, O Christ our God, Who hast shown forth the fishermen as supremely wise, by sending down upon them the Holy Spirit, and through them, didst draw the world into Thy net. O Lover of mankind, glory be to Thee.
Kondak Of Pentecost, Tone 8:
Once, when He descended and confounded the tongues, the Most High divided the nations; and when He divided the tongues of fire, He called all men into unity; and with one accord we glorify the All-Holy Spirit.
Tropar - Tone 4
With thy virtues, as with the rays of the sun, thou didst enlighten the unbelieving philosophers; and like the most radiant moon shining on those who walk at night, thou didst drive away the darkness of unbelief. Thou didst bring the empress to faith and didst denounce the tyrant, O divinely elect bride. O blessed Catherine, with desire thou didst make haste to the heavenly bridal chamber, to Christ the most comely Bridegroom, and by Him has thou been crowned with a royal crown. Standing with the angels before Him, do thou pray for us who keep thy most honored memory.
Kondak - Tone 2
O ye who love the martyrs, raise up an honored chorus in godly manner; honoring the most wise Catherine; for in the arena she preached Christ and trod upon the serpent, putting down the knowledge of the rhetors.
Divine Liturgy in English every Saturday at 9am.
Catechism after Liturgy
Inquirers most welcome!
St Andrew Orthodox Cathedral
6465 54th Ave. N. St. Petersburg, FL 33709
"If you only knew how great a blessing comes from the Divine Liturgy, then you would collect even the dust from the floor of the church to wash your faces with it..."
St. Gabriel the Confessor and fool for Christ
His Eminence Nicholas
Metropolitan of Eastern America and New York
First Hierarch of the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia
Christ is in our midst!
But the days will come when the bridegroom shall be taken from them, and then shall they fast (Mt 9:15).
We have come to the end of the Paschal cycle of services. We will now count the Sundays from Pentecost until the next cycle begins (36 Sundays this year, as the Sunday of the Publican and the Pharisee isn’t until February 25th). The Paschal cycle of services in and of themselves are quite instructive, both for this life and, especially, for the next.
The Paschal cycle, as we have said many times, is divided into two parts: the Lenten Triodion and the Flowery Triodion, more commonly known as the Pentecostarion.
The Lenten Tridion begins with the four preparatory Sunday services for the great fast, as well as all of the lenten services, through Palm Sunday and Passion Week. The Pentecostarion has all the services from Pascha, through the Lord’s Ascension, Pentecost and All Saints.
The Lenten Triodion is the longer of the two, containing 13 weeks of services. These services are quite penitential as they prepare us to properly celebrate the Lord’s Passion.
The Pentecostarion, the wondrous, luminous, celebratory book of Pascha through Pentecost and All-Saints, has services for 8 weeks of glorious celebration.
You may wonder why I am mentioning this. This is certainly not a class in liturgics (although it is most desirable that we all have a basic understanding of the cycle of the feasts and seasons of the Church year). What I want you to do is notice that the Lenten Triodion is larger, both in volume, as the lenten services, being penitential, are quite long, and length of time devoted to repentance. Only after this repentance comes the celebration. Then the fast - again.
Why is this?
Both the Forerunner and the Lord Christ preached: Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand. We cannot obtain salvation, we cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven, without repentance. To repent is to turn back to God, to forsake all that separates us from Him. It is a continual struggle.
We have spoken on this and shall speak of it again - frequently, but not now. Suffice it to say that our life, our sojourn here on earth, is primarily a time of repentance, of spiritual struggle, a time of trial and tribulation as we strive to keep the commandments of Christ, for if we love Him we will endevor to keep His commandments. As we well know, the more we struggle to live according to the Gospel, the more the enemy of our salvation attacks and does all that he can to hinder us and deprive us of salvation. This is why we have been filled with power from on high. This is why the Holy Spirit has come: we cannot do it alone. Yes, we must struggle, as we must participate in our salvation. We are not and cannot be saved against our will or passively. Yet we cannot do it without God’s help. Without Me ye can do nothing our Lord clearly said.
So, having received the grace of the Holy Spirit, we go into the world to bear witness to Christ. We do this by simply doing our best to live as Orthodox Christians. To be Orthodox and not merely be called Orthodox, this is of utmost importance. To be called Orthodox and yet not live Orthodox is an egregious sin. To live Orthodox is a powerful witness.
The Bridegroom has departed. The glorious feasts - ever present - have passed. It is time to fast, to pray, to struggle to be faithful by keeping watch and being vigilant; by being uncompromisingly faithful to the Lord regardless of the consequences - until He return. There was a time when there were no consequences for being a faithful Christian, in this country at least. Those days, sadly, are passing and the time for struggle - for bearing witness (need I say martyrdom as martyr means witness) - is at hand.
Let us not be fainthearted. It is ours to merely be faithful to the One who is Faithful and True. He clearly told us that in the world we will have tribulation, but He also told us that we are not to worry, for He has overcome the world.
This word is never out of season. It fills us with faith when it is faint and doubt besieges us, life when we are weary, and light when we are surrounded by darkness and despair. What word you may ask?
CHRIST IS RISEN! INDEED HE IS RISEN!
We must never forget this - even for a moment.
Saturday, June 10 - Apadosis of Pentecost. Akathist at 8:15am. Liturgy in English at 9am. Class. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, June 11 - The Sunday of All Saints. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
Monday, June 12 - The beginning of the Apostle’s Fast. This fast lasts up to July 12, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, which falls on a Wednesday, thus also a fast day.
Saturday, June 17 - St. Mitrophan, Patriarch of Constantinople. Akathist at 8:15am. Liturgy in English at 9am. Class. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, June 18 - The Sunday of All Saints of Russia. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
Saturday, June 24 - The Holy Apostles Bartholomew and Barnabas. Akathist at 8:15am. Liturgy in English at 9am. Class. Vigil at 5pm.
Sunday, June 25 - St. Onuphrius the Great and the Venerable Peter of Mt. Athos. Divine Liturgy at 10am.
oReminder: We are concelebrating with Fr. Igor and the faithful of St. Andrew's Orthodox Cathedral, - 6465 54th Ave. N., - St. Petersburg, whose gracious hospitality is ever appreciated.
If you live in the greater Tampa Bay area and are interested in Orthodoxy or would like to help in establishing a traditional Orthodox parish in English
please call 727-239-9186 and leave a message or e-mail me at email@example.com.
I'd love to hear from you!
Fr. Stephen Zaremba
Most of those who come on Saturday morning also come on Sunday, while others attend other Orthodox parishes on Sundays. Some have relocated from other states and are looking for a spiritual home. We have baptized a few adults after a period of preparation, and have also baptized children born into Orthodox Christian families. Truly God is good to us!
Thanks be to God our community is slowly growing. Since our ways are not God’s ways we are traversing an unexpected path, currently serving at St. Andrew’s Russian Orthodox Church in St. Petersburg. It is proving quite beneficial for both our St. Catherine’s Mission and the St. Andrew’s parish. God’s providence is truly remarkable.
First a quick word about St. Andrew’s. It is a Russian speaking community. The church is beautiful, the choir is excellent, the services served properly. While most of the vigil and Sunday Divine Liturgy are celebrated in Church Slavonic, English is used based on attendance. The Epistle and Gospel are always read in English and there is sermon in English. If you are familiar with the Divine Liturgy you will feel very comfortable. Fr. Igor and the parishioners of St. Andrew’s have made us feel quite welcome indeed.
On Saturdays we celebrate the Divine Liturgy in English, followed by a Bible Study. This started off as quite a small group but it has been growing so that we usually have about 20 or more stay for our class. Not bad for a Saturday morning!
We are a mission. Our purpose is to make traditional, apostolic Christianity, today known as Orthodoxy, available to those who are seeking it. Many are seeking it not quite knowing what it is. If you are looking for God - look here. If you are looking for stability, where doctrines do not change with the blowing of the wind - look here. If you want to truly learn how to worship in the spirit and truth as taught by the holy Apostles - look here. If you are are not sure just what it is that you are looking for - look here. We don’t make things up as we go and we don’t change with the times. Truth is truth. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.
The world is going through a time of considerable turmoil. No one knows what the future holds. The Orthodox Christian Faith has withstood the bloody persecutions of ancient Rome, the tribulation of the Arian, Iconoclastic and other heresies, the onslaught of the Persians and Moslems, Communism and everything else that the Adversary has thrown at us through the centuries. But as our Lord promised, the gates of hell have not prevailed. Regardless of what the future may hold, the Orthodox Faith will remain like bedrock unto the Lord returns.
Now some may think that Orthodox Christianity is similar to Roman Catholicism. While there may be some external similarities, Roman Catholics and Protestants, with their now 30,000 denominations, are far closer to one another than they are to the Orthodox. While this may seem very wrong, Protestantism is a reaction to Roman Catholicism and as such, while they certainly have different beliefs and solutions, they have the same mindset.
Orthodoxy is quite different as it has resisted the temptation to be altered by the philosophy of the day through the centuries. Orthodoxy is what is and has been believed by everyone everywhere from the beginning. No change. No compromise. It is manly - men love it. It is not a soft faith. It challenges each believer. And no, it is not too much for women and children. Orthodoxy is beautiful, full of joy and light, gentleness and compassion.
If you are in the area, we would love to meet you. You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or call or text to 727-239-9186.
The following was a letter to the Roman Emperor Hadrian (d.138AD) from the Athenian Orator Aristides in which he depicts how the Early Christians lived. This is how Christianity conquered the world. This is how it will do so again...
“The Christians know and trust God…They placate those who oppress them and make them their friends; they do good to their enemies. Their wives are absolutely pure, and their daughters modest. Their men abstain from unlawful marriage and are free from all impurity: If any of them have bondwomen or children, they persuade them to become Christians for the love they have toward them; and when they become so, they call them without distinction brothers…They love one another: They do not refuse to help the widows. They rescue the orphan from him who does him violence. He who has, gives ungrudgingly to him who has not. If they see a stranger; they take him to their dwellings and rejoice over him as over a real brother; for they do not call themselves brothers after the flesh, but after the Spirit and in God…If any one among them is poor and needy; and they do not have food to spare, they fast for two or three days, that they may supply him with necessary food. They scrupulously obey the commands of their Messiah. Every morning and every hour they thank and praise God for His loving-kindness toward them…Because of them there flows forth all the beauty that there is in the world. But the good deeds they do, they do not proclaim in the ears of the multitude, but they take care that no one shall perceive them. Thus they labor to become righteous…Truly, this is a new people and there is something divine in them.”
OUR TEMPORARY ADDRESS
St Andrew Russian Orthodox Church
6465 54th Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33709
Divine Liturgy in English on Saturdays at 9am.
Divine Liturgy on Sundays at 10am
and Feast Days as announced